The 46th annual Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce 2023 ‘Ō' ō Awards Gala. Waiwai - assets, valuables, richness. What are our valuables, our assets and what do we consider waiwai, or richness, today? Our kūpuna taught us, “Na ke kanaka mahiʻai ka imu ō nui (Pukui 2239)” A well-filled imu belongs to the one who tills the soil. Basically, you reap what you sow. This year’s theme is waiwai and it honors those who have led our communities in various ways to till the soils across the paeʻāina. These ʻōiwi leaders have helped to fill our imu with waiwai. The kind of waiwai that fills our naʻau as well as our coffers. Kānaka who have worked hard to preserve, grow and create new waiwai to feed our thriving lāhui.
This award was conceived 46 years ago, to showcase and honor Native Hawaiian business leaders that demonstrate courage, resilience and dedication to their craft and the people of Hawaiʻi. These ʻōiwi leaders are reminders that Hawaiian culture and values continue to be important pillars for how we do business and what we pass on to the next generation of leaders.
The Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce is proud to present this year's ‘Ō‘ō Award to two outstanding and very deserving honorees Dr. Diane Paloma, and Kahu Kenneth Makuākane
Dr. Diane Paloma
When not dancing or teaching hula at Ka Pā Hula O Ka Lei Lehua, Dr. Paloma divides her time between her husband and children, serving on the boards of 12 community organizations, and fulfilling her role as CEO of Hawaiʻi’s largest dental insurance provider, Hawaiʻi Dental Service. The recent Omidyar fellow and University of Hawaiʻi Regent was named one of the “20 for the next 20” by Hawaiʻi Business Magazine. Rooted in the traditions of our people, Diane’s passion for the health and wellbeing of Hawaiʻi is evident in her decades of commitment to the field and her dedication to preserving our way of life.
Kahu Kenneth Makuakāne
Kahu Kenneth Makuakāne is a household name across the paeʻāina. A renaissance man in his own right, he now leads Kawaiahaʻo Church as its Senior Pastor. Kenn is a prolific singer and songwriter with 21 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and is the 2015 recipient of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, producing music for some of the biggest names in Hawaiian music. Kahu Makuakāne’s personal and professional lives have been dedicated to Hawaiian culture and to the caring of Hawaiʻi’s people.